Impacts of Asian dust on the determination of cloud thermodynamic phase from satellite observations

The impact of Asian dust on the determination of cloud phase is analyzed over dust sources and downwind using cloud phase products from cloud-aerosol lidar and infrared pathfinder satellite observations (CALIPSO), atmospheric infrared sounder (AIRS), moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS), and polarization and anisotropy of reflectances for atmospheric sciences coupled with observations from a lidar (PARASOL). The results show that the presence of dust greatly affects determination of cloud phase in both source and downwind regions. CALIPSO products demonstrate better ice cloud discrimination of about 70% and 60% over source and downwind regions, respectively, compared to passive sensors. These results suggest that semi-direct effects of dust, which act to warm clouds and evaporate large cloud particles, may play a role in cloud phase determination. This study suggests that the presence of dust tends to increase misclassification of ice clouds as water or uncertain phase by AIRS, MODIS, and PARASOL.

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